Launching Your Favorite Apps Using the Windows Key

Written by Eric Wyatt (last updated September 20, 2021)

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As you use your computer, there are sure to be specific apps you use more frequently than others. Whether this is your web browser, Microsoft Word, or an app like Adobe Photoshop, whatever app you use more regularly, you can speed up launching by using a shortcut. We mentioned in another article the amazing list of shortcuts that can be used by pressing the Windows key along with another key, resulting in Windows doing a predefined action.

One of the Windows key actions that is often overlooked is pressing the Windows key then pressing a number 1 through 9. When pressed, Windows launches whatever application you have in the Quick Launch section of the Taskbar associated with the number you pressed when you do this. The numbers are associated with slots to the right of the Start button on the Taskbar. Slot number 1 is immediately to the right of the Start button and continues up through 9.

This comes in handy when you arrange how the applications listed in the Quick Launch area according to how likely you are to use them. For example, if the program I use the most on my computer is Outlook, I would position Outlook in the first slot. With Outlook in the first slot, when I press Win+1, Windows opens Outlook. If I used Word second, I would make sure it was in the second slot, and so on.

This small change can, over a week, drastically cut down launch times. This reduction in time comes from no longer needing to navigate through the Start menu looking for and launching an app you use all the time.

 This tip (11303) applies to Windows 10.

Author Bio

Eric Wyatt

Eric Wyatt is a swell guy (or so his friends tell him). He is a formally trained designer and branding expert, bringing a wide range of skills to his Tips.Net articles. ...

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What is six more than 1?

2021-09-20 11:33:41

Eric Jay Toll

I've got to say, Eric, that the WIIN+# tip was something I have not known about Windows 10. Well, it also works in Windows 11 Beta. I've enjoyed many of your tips and learned much, but this was the first one that had me saying, "Wow" and putting into play immediately.


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